"No. What does practice make?"
Every season of coaching our middle school soccer teams, Daddy would ask the same question in the middle of warmup touches. Confused silence always followed after the initial answer was rejected. Every single one of us girls had been told our whole lives that "practice makes perfect." So what was Coach/Daddy talking about?
After a minute, if no one offered any new answers, he provided the correct one for us.
"Permanent. Practice makes permanent."
And then he proceeded to explain.
"It doesn't matter how much you practice something if you're practicing it wrong. Whatever you do during practice is what's going to become permanent in your head. And then that's what you'll do during the game."
After the first couple times, my sister and I would exchange knowing smiles as the chorus of wrong answers were breathlessly given between touches, followed by the same explanation.
After a while, I realized that this sentiment doesn't just apply to soccer. Rarely anything does unless it's "shoot for the posts" or "keep the offender outside."
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
The practice of these people is certainly not leading to perfection! A few verses later, John practically tells us right out not to believe the old adage about practice making perfect.
Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. (1 John 3:7-8a)
There's another old saying that almost everyone knows: you are what you eat. I'd like to think this is similar. You are what you do.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? . . . So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:14,17-18)
Our works are what show our faith and the works we do regularly (habits) are made by practice. I can't help but think of the line Daddy always used to end his mini lecture.
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."